Professional Tone in Business Communication
All communication has tone. The tone is how the audience or recipient knows the mood of the person on the other end of the line. That is why it is important to pay attention to your tone, especially in business communication. Here are some tips for keeping a professional tone in business communication.
When figuring out what tone you should use in your communication, it is important to consider the purpose and the audience. Are you trying to offer someone a position, accept a position, or reprimand an employee? No matter what the purpose of the message, you will need to focus on tone. You will also need to consider your audience. If you do not know exactly who you are writing to, stick to gender-neutral terms. This could be when addressing a letter or email. For example:
Instead of: Hello Sir,
Use: To Whom It May Concern,
Be Confident and Courteous
In all business communication, confidence is key. In business writing, you want the audience to take you seriously and accept any decisions you have made. Be careful, however, that you do not appear arrogant. Rather than use a demanding tone, you should use one that is encouraging. All business communication should also be kind and sincere. When you are kind and sincere in your tone, people will be more likely to respond positively to your message. This is even possible when you are reprimanding an employee.
Use Correct Grammar
Nothing says unprofessional like bad grammar and punctuation. With the increase in text messaging, this has become a bigger challenge for some. Always remember that business emails and letters are not the same as text messages. Text messages are usually brief and do not leave much room for a professional tone. Emails and letters leave more time and room to develop the proper tone. Also, make sure to proofread any written documents or have someone else read through them.
Hopefully, these tips for keeping a professional tone in business communication will help you in your business writing. This is most often the first impression of you or your business. For more business tips, check out our article, “5 Business Rules to Live By”.